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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte's new multi-million dollar intermodal cargo terminal is set to open later this spring but on Tuesday, members of the Chamber of Commerce from the area got a preview of the facility that is expected to be a shot in the arm for local businesses.

This will be a major driver for Charlotte's economic activity, said Carroll Neville of Norfolk Southern Railroad.

Norfolk Southern built and is operating the new facility at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport that cost some $90 million.

It is called intermodal because it is a centralized hub for cargo being shipped by air, trucks and trains.

Huge cranes can move a container that has just arrived by plane to a truck or train without unloading and repacking.

Charles Wilkerson, who runs Steele Creek Printing and Design, was one of the local business owners who got a chance to preview the new facility, and he likes what he saw and the potential for the future.

For my business, it is going to bring other businesses to the area and it helps manufacturers in Steele Creek with moving their products in an out.

Before the new facility was built, trucks and trains linked up at the old rail yard off Brevard Street, just north of the City of Charlotte.

Trucks then had to travel nearly a dozen miles of city streets to reach a major interstate.

That old rail yard is closing down and the new facility has much easier access to main roads.

This facility is located right next to I-485 with close connectivity to I-85. Much more effective flow for trucks in and out of the facility, Neville said.

The City of Charlotte holds an option on the old rail yard property, but it is not clear yet what will happen with that land.

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